Breaking Down the Wrestling References on the Mountain Goats' Beat the Champ

Categories: Pop Culture
Merge Records
The Best Album About Professional Wrestling So Far This Year
This Sunday, beloved indie-folk-rockers the Mountain Goats play First Avenue. They'll be playing songs from their new record, Beat the Champ, a concept album about professional wrestling. While Minneapolis is known as a big wrestling town, the scope of topics explored on Beat the Champ is pretty vast.

So, we've decided to bring you up to speed on the subject of the squared circle by offering a little history about each track, and digging into all the wrestling references on Beat the Champ.

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Why Juliana Hatfield Has Stood the Test of Time

Photo by Johnny Anguish
The Juliana Hatfield Three is celebrating the 21st anniversary of Become What You Are.

Juliana Hatfield still matters. To think otherwise borders on irresponsible and is, at best, willfully ignorant.

In my mind, the Boston alt-rocker will forever be linked with Liz Phair, who made a bigger initial splash, but has failed to remain vital. As for Hatfield, she always stuck to her own path, and achieved a more lasting impression.

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Now That's What I Call Music! has 50 (!) installments

Categories: Pop Culture, Radio

Now! That's What I Call Music!
The Now That's What I Call Music! series hit a landmark last month with the release of its 50th compilation. That's right, the quarterly collection of today's top hits has been going on for over 15 years worth of yesterdays, making for an interesting time capsule and documentation of what was happening in popular music. But with the music industry having so many well documented issues, why is it that Now has managed to not only stay afloat, but flourish?

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My six-week-old recognized the song I sang to him in utero

Categories: Music, Pop Culture
Amber Taufen

The transportive power of music never ceases to amaze me. Whenever I hear the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony," it's suddenly 1997 inside my head; I'm back in high school, daydreaming while sitting on my bedroom floor, and my little blue boombox's dial is tuned to my favorite radio station, which plays the song at least once a day. When Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" plays -- and I allow myself to really listen to it -- I'm back in 2006, and my dad has just had a fatal heart attack; to cope, I listen to sad songs that help me purge the waves of unmanageable emotions I'm feeling through catharsis, and Roger Waters helps me cry myself to sleep more than once.

Just a few weeks ago, the neurons in my brain connected a brand-new memory to yet another song -- and it's one of my happiest memories to date, so I know I'll enjoy hearing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" every time it enters my aural sphere. Here's why.

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Mike 2600's 8-bit True Detective theme goes viral


So if your HBO Go didn't crash Sunday night and you weren't watching Cosmos, then you obviously watched the season finale of the hit series True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Not only has this groundbreaking series kept McConaughey on a actors roll and brought Woody back to a non-Hunger Games spotlight - although I am a huge Haymitch fan - but it was also quite rewarding for one of our own artists in town.

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With liberty and Miley Cyrus for all

Categories: Pop Culture
Photo by Eric Grunelson / Westword Slideshow

Miley Cyrus and I are proud members of the millennial generation. We take pragmatic idealism, dress it up in a Jordan jersey, throw on some gold grills, and then have a globalized party via Twitter. We employ tactics of cultural disobedience in promoting our neo-Libertarian ideals. We advocate for ethnic, racial and sexual diversity, and female empowerment. We have a vision, and it's all-inclusive. Your fallen world is invite-only.

Hate on us all you want. Our generation will likely get more shit done that all generations who came before us -- combined. We're the actual modern-day hippies, in search of a utopian existence as your "real world" structure continues to suffer collapse. You can argue with Miley and me until you pass out, but there's one fact that you'll just have to swallow: We are the future.

See Also: Miley Cyrus plays a twerking Michele Bachmann on SNL

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Danny Brown on oral sex at Triple Rock: It takes two to tango

Photo by Erik Hess
When Danny Brown returned to town with Action Bronson earlier this month, he said Minneapolis was one of his "favorite cities to play... and I think you all know why." Unfortunately we do, Danny.

Back in April at Triple Rock Social Club, the Detroit rapper was subjected to an infamous bit of kissing on his privates by a female fan in the front row, and an infamous bit of a social media firestorm followed. Notably, his tourmate Kitty Pryde struck a blow at the woman involved and called the incident a sexual assault, but Brown remained silent on the issue. Until now, which coincidentally is a few days before the release of his impressive new album, Old.

See Also: Danny Brown's Triple Rock show sparks unseemly oral sex controversy

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Why was Nelly in the Twin Cities this week?

Categories: Pop Culture
Photo via Theron Thompson
Here's Nelly at Wednesday night's Timberwolves game at Target Center.
Nelly hopped up to our frigid state for a few days this week -- not to sign the "Hot Cheetos & Takis" stars the KIDS, but apparently to do some food-related business with General Mills. Based upon some tweets and photos from the rapper -- in between some incessant promotion for a new song called "Hey Porsche" -- the St. Lunatic really got around town!

Below, take a ride wit us and see where Nelly headed around town.

See Also:
Nelly eats monstrous mystery dessert in Minneapolis

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Minnesota Twins should pick a Bob Dylan song for a new anthem

Could the "boy" from the North Country be the answer for our drought? 
Summer un-officially began this month as pitchers and catchers reported to Florida to mark the start of another season of trying to survive in Twins territory. Even though about 12 inches of snow covers Target Field, we can still daydream of April 1 when the skies will be blue, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will be healthy.

The Twins shipped off and cut players to build for 2014 and onward. (And the Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer Please Hurry Up plan is in full effect now.) So while they are making adjustments, can we ask to change one more thing? The music.

See Also:
Joe Mauer should dump T.I.'s "What You Know"
Ten local songs the Minnesota Twins should play at Target Field

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U of M cuts rapper Joel Bauman's wrestling eligibility

Categories: Pop Culture
For a while, Joel "WhysGuy" Bauman was both a rapper and a wrestler at the University of Minnesota. Now, after he's seen some success on the music side, he's ineligible to compete as a wrestler based upon NCAA rules.

Recently, the school contacted him and requested he take down his motivation-bent music from iTunes and his YouTube channel. His online profile features his name, his likeness, and ties to his career on the wrestling team. The 21-year-old refused, so the school had to waive his eligibility this week. More »